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Women Who Snore At Risk of Having Smaller Babies

Update Date: Nov 01, 2013 04:24 PM EDT

Expectant mothers who snore are significantly more likely to give birth underweight babies, according to a new study.

New research reveals that pregnancy women who snore at least three nights a week are also more likely to undergo Cesarean sections compared to those who don't snore.

Previous studies linked snoring during pregnancy to high blood pressure and preeclampsia.

The latest study, which involved 1,673 pregnant women, showed that more than a third of participants reported habitual snoring. The findings revealed that women who snored more than three times a week were more at risk of negative delivery outcomes like having smaller babies and Cesarean birth.

Researchers found that chronic snorers had an even larger risk. Women who snored before and during pregnancy were two thirds more likely to have a small baby whose weight was in the bottom 10 percent and twice as likely have a C-section birth.

"There has been great interest in the implications of snoring during pregnancy and how it affects maternal health but there is little data on how it may impact the health of the baby," researcher Dr Louise O'Brien, from the University of Michigan's Sleep Disorders Center said in a news release.

"We've found that chronic snoring is associated with both smaller babies and C-sections, even after we accounted for other risk factors," O'Brien said. "This suggests that we have a window of opportunity to screen pregnant women for breathing problems during sleep that may put them at risk of poor delivery outcomes."

"If we can identify risks during pregnancy that can be treated, such as obstructive sleep apnea, we can reduce the incidence of small babies, C-sections and possibly NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit) admission that not only improve long-term health benefits for newborns but also help keep costs down," she concluded. 

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